New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

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eslapion
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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby eslapion » Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:45 pm

A new batch of PLAnkton is now available. I am very proud of this little chip - it works flawlessly. PLAnkton is the best PLA substitute for the Commodore 64 bar none.

We have sold more than 160 of them and we've not had a single defect or incompatibility so far, including when installed on earlier boards 326298 and 250407 rev. A

The price tag for PLAnkton is now 14$US or 12.50 Euros.
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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby eslapion » Sat Nov 28, 2015 2:05 pm

230 units sold so far - ZERO defects! Not a single incompatibility even with old boards 326298, as attested by Ray Carlsen.
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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby RobertBe » Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:12 am

eslapion wrote:Not a single incompatibility even with old boards 326298, as attested by Ray Carlsen.

I met with Ray on Friday, and yes, he gives his full approval for the PLAnkton! He said that he tried it with several, different C64 boards from the oldest to the newest, and the PLAnkton worked on every one of them without problems. That could not be said of the PLAnkton's nearest competitor.

Will there be a version of the PLAnkton for the C16, C116, and Plus/4?

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby eslapion » Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:22 am

RobertBe wrote:Will there be a version of the PLAnkton for the C16, C116, and Plus/4?

PLAnkton is a product specific to the C64 because it uses a special latency system required on the C64 for CASRAM timing.

This is not required on the C16, C116, Plus/4 and 1551 disk drive. For these computers and drives, the product I offer is still PLAkate which is based on GENUINE ST's PROM M27C512-90B6 (not chinese clones). These have been determined to work flawlessly and NOT generate bus contentions or glitches.

I have sold many of these to a gentleman with the alias of Reini and he used these successfully on many different computers and drives. PLAkate is actually less expensive than PLAnkton at 10$US per unit.
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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby RobertBe » Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:02 am

eslapion wrote:...the C16, C116, Plus/4 and 1551 disk drive. For these computers and drives, the product I offer is still PLAkate which is based on GENUINE ST's PROM M27C512-90B6 (not chinese clones). These have been determined to work flawlessly and NOT generate bus contentions or glitches.

Ah, very good. Does the PLAkate easily fit in the tight confines of the Plus/4? I have a SCCAN member who bought a competitor's PLA substitute, and the substitute stood too high. Thus, he wasn't able to close the Plus/4's case. My only suggestion to him was that he could put spacers on the mounting screws, and then the case would be permanently open at the seams and would allow more cooling! He didn't take my suggestion. ;)

That substitute was the red-colored one,
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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby eslapion » Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:39 pm

RobertBe wrote:Ah, very good. Does the PLAkate easily fit in the tight confines of the Plus/4? I have a SCCAN member who bought a competitor's PLA substitute, and the substitute stood too high. Thus, he wasn't able to close the Plus/4's case. My only suggestion to him was that he could put spacers on the mounting screws, and then the case would be permanently open at the seams and would allow more cooling! He didn't take my suggestion. ;)

That substitute was the red-colored one,

Knowing the exact spacing available, I might be able to make a custom low-profile version of PLAkate that fits the exact requirements.

As for the red-colored substitute, I think its the same one which cause physical conflict with the SID on older C64 mainboards and also will not work with Fastload.
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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby RobertBe » Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:16 pm

eslapion wrote:Knowing the exact spacing available, I might be able to make a custom low-profile version of PLAkate that fits the exact requirements.

Oh, that is good news. i will tell the SCCAN member that there is hope for his Plus/4. I'm sure he will buy as soon as it is ready.
As for the red-colored substitute, I think its the same one which cause physical conflict with the SID on older C64 mainboards...

I did not know that.
...and also will not work with Fastload.

Heh, I knew that one. :)

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Robert Bernardo
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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby eslapion » Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:47 am

@RobertBe
Did you know the "red-colored substitute" consumes 60mA while PLAkate uses only 10mA. PLAnkton uses 22mA - about the same as an ordinary green LED.

These figures are all approximates but there isn't much more than 10% error.

A genuine 82S100 based PLA draws about 100mA.
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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby Schema » Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:20 pm

I'm interested in one or two. Fortunately I haven't had any PLA failures in a long time, but it is good to have spare parts.

Please bring a few if you are able to make it to World of Commodore, I'm sure there would be interest. If not, I'll be in touch next week to get one shipped!

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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby eslapion » Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:28 am

More than 265 units sold!

Fredric is now sold out! I now distribute for the whole world.

Pricing for european customers is 12.50 Euros per unit - shipping is 7 Euros.

Also, customers ordering 10 units or more get a 25% discount - that's 10.50$US per unit or 9.38 Euros

---

Thicker pins for weakened sockets available


A few people have indicated they have a worn and/or weakened U17/PLA socket. For this reason, I have decided to offer a variant of PLAnkton which uses a very different type of pins.

The pins equipping PLAnkton are normally 0.018" (0.46mm) to ensure they do not cause extra wear on your socket. They are also gold plated to ensure the best possible contact.

I now offer for an extra 5$US or 4.5 Euros fitting your PLAnkton with 0.024" (0.61mm) pins with a thicker gold plating. The pins are also slightly shorter to make them more resilient.

These pins are based on product ED7264-ND sold by Digikey. If you calculate the price per pin of these strips, you'll realize I effectively sell them for the same price I pay.

The price for PLAnkton with thick pins is therefore 19$US or 17 Euros.
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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby eslapion » Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:14 pm

300 units sold!
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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby eslapion » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:05 am

Second batch is now sold out!

I accept pre-orders on the 3rd batch which will be ready in about 3 weeks.

The price per unit is now 15.50$US or 14 Euros.
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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby eslapion » Wed May 04, 2016 11:55 am

400 units sold!
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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby eslapion » Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:34 am

I have 30 units left from the 3rd batch.

The only PLA substitute which is guaranteed to work on ALL C64 board types except board 250469.
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Re: New generation of PLA - PLAnkton

Postby eslapion » Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:33 pm

In answer to Jeff Birt (Lemon64):
If you add in shipping the price is the same. I had not come across the PLAnkton PLA replacement in my searches. The resistor/capacitor cause a timing delay on the RAM CAS so I'm not sure how the replacement PLA (in either case) could guarantee the correct timing without knowing if the RC pair was there or not. In reading on the PLAnkton they mention a 'jumper' to correct timing on older boards, so I'm guessing they modify the timing based on that input.


The components R42 and C204 are arranged in a configuration called "RC low pass filter" in C64 models made after 1983 (250425, SX-64 and 250466). This low pass filter has a time constant of 82 x 150x10^-12 seconds or 12.3ns. This filter is necessary on later models of C64 because MOS PLAs are faster than real 82S100 chips used on the first C64s by about 13ns. An original 82S100 takes about 38ns to respond to a logic equation change while a 1986 MOS 906114-01 will respond in about 25ns.

The thing is, even with the delay added by R42-C204, older 82S100 chips work perfectly well on later C64 because the RC filter brings the CASRAM response speed to about 50ns which is still fast enough for correct operation. These PLAs are more or less the holy grail of PLAs because for reasons that were unknown in the past they work on "everything". A close study with a 500MHz logic analyzer revealed why this chip will work fine on all C64 and how narrow is the response speed which provides universal compatibility regardless the board is fitted with R42-C204.

However, CPLDs used on PLAtinum and PLAnkton are much faster than any PLAs Commodore ever made. By default they can respond to a logic equation change in about 16ns. PLAnkton was specifically tuned with a sophisticated delay system for a response speed which is strictly identical to that of the 82S100 and the consequence is that just like the genuine chip it will work on every C64 regardless it is equipped with an RC filter or not.

PLAnkton is fitted in a way which allows you to disable a portion of this delay system so it's response speed becomes the same as a later generation PLA (referred to as 8700R2) and this is only useful if your board is a 250466 which is the only C64 board to use the normal 28 pin PLA AND carry only 2 memory chips. A few of these boards absolutely require the response speed of the PLA to be faster.
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